Model 3

PSA - Do not tint windshield

edited November -1 in Model 3
Hi all,

I took delivery of my Model 3 about two weeks ago. As a previous owner of a Model S, I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the finished product. Not only do I have an easier time getting in and out, it’s also a fun car to drive with some really cool features. Unfortunately not all is well in the land of Tesla.

For those who live in a hot and sunny climate and are used to tinting all their windows, including the windshield, don’t. My Model 3 has been at the SC for over a week because the computer fried after liquid penetrated the area between the windshield and dashboard. The problem began after the initial cleaning of the windshield. Although paper towels were laid out on the dash and over the screen, just spraying the windshield and wiping it clean was enough to cause the screen to begin something called phantom touch (google it). This caused the AC to turn on randomly, frustrating the installer and myself as the AC just kept turning on no matter what I did. I eventually I just turned the fan all the way down and figured I’ll deal with the problem afterward as I previously read that phantom touch is a known issue on the Model 3. Anyway, by the time the tint installation was complete, the screen no longer worked. Luckily the car remained drivable but without the use of the screen, all the controls and gauges were not available. I tried to reset the screen, but it was evident that there was some other issue going on here. I drove the Model 3 to the local SC for them to diagnose the problem. So far they replaced the screen and now they are replacing the computer. Hopefully that will fix it, but I’m definitely concerned about this given that just cleaning the windshield can potentially render your car unusable. Crazy.

Now, before people get crazy over tinting the front windshield, I’ve been doing this for years and tinted the windshield of my Model S without a problem using the same installer. In the great State of Florida, it is legal to tint the front windshield due to medical necessity. I’ve been doing it since I was diagnosed with a cancerous lesion on my nose which was successfully excised and replaced with skin from the back of my ear. As I was directed by my doctor to do all I can to avoid direct sunlight, I tint my windshield. I have read on the TMC forums that this is a known issue and some dealers are informing owners on delivery about this so they don’t do it. My delivery specialist never mentioned it and since a users manual was not included in the glove box or on the “About” screen, I don’t know if it’s something I should have known. I did watch some introductional videos on the website but they are very basic and don’t mention anything regarding tinting restrictions.

Hopefully this post helps those planning on doing this to avoid it, but if you have/had any similar issues, I would like to hear about them.
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    While this is the first I'm hearing such a thing, I find it very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
  • edited March 2018
    I thought all the windows were coated at the factory to block 99% of UVA/UVAB in which case aftermarket tint is completely unnecessary (unless you want to block the visible light more than stock).
  • edited March 2018
    "Now, before people get crazy over tinting the front windshield". Thanks, I applied the brakes and finished reading. I had no idea there could be a medical necessity. Thanks for sharing.
  • edited March 2018
    @michael:I think that was the roof.
  • edited March 2018
    @billstanton. WIndshields are design to block most UVA. That is also why photochromic eyeglass lenses don't work in a car.
  • edited November -1
    We had our M3's windows and front windshield tinted 3 weeks ago at Shoreline Midnight Tinting and have not experienced any of the problems reported by OP. I also had both our MS windows tinted, and have not had any problems with those tinting experiences as well.
  • edited March 2018
    I don't understand what tinting has to do with the failure you experienced. Can you explain further? Seems like you just don't get water in open ports of the car, but that's not really a tinting issue. Just spray on the paper towels and wipe instead.
  • edited March 2018
    I suspect this is an example of correlation not being the same as causation.

    I’ve has tablet computers that experienced phantom touches if a different power supply (same specs and for another touch tablet computer) was attached.

    Capacitive touch screens are very sensitive and it sounds like Tesla has been having some problems with tolerance on the combination of screen and computer.
  • edited March 2018
    Water intrusion into the dash is possible with tint applied to the windshield because during application of the film (on the cabin side of the windshield) they first wet down the window with a solution before applying the film. They then squeegee out the air bubbles which also squeegees out the application solution. Gravity takes care of the rest. In any event the windshield itself blocks 99% UVA/UVB because it already has a film coating embedded in the glass (for anti-shatter reasons but also for anti-UV purposes). As do the top/rear windows. I believe it's only the side windows which may benefit from aftermarket tint insofar as UVA/UVB suppression goes...If it were me I'd only tint the side windows for this reason.
  • edited November -1
    I have experienced the phantom touch issue when merely wiping the top of the dash above the touchscreen with a wet cloth - no spray bottle or running liquid involved. It did not result in permanent damage, just some random touchscreen activity.
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